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Throughout the past two decades, the demand for social science indicators to quantify the performance of various institutions has increased dramatically. These indicators seek to address the concerns of policymaking and public audiences by operationalizing such complex, multi-dimensional concepts as governance, access to justice, corruption, and the rule of law, to name a few.
The increased demand for institutional indicators has led to a proliferation of indices. This special issue of the Hague Journal on the Rule of Law, entirely dedicated to measurement of institutional indicators across countries, represents the outcome of a collaborative effort between the Hague Institute for the Internationalisation of Law (HiiL) and The World Justice Project (WJP). In August 2010, these institutions convened in Washington, DC, a seminar with some of the leading researchers and indicator developers in the fields of governance, corruption, and access to justice. The goal of the seminar was to facilitate an open conversation about the need for, and the limitations of, cross-country institutional indicators. Presentations made at this seminar have been turned into papers for this special issue.